Plankton monitoring and stock assessment

Our expert scientists provide plankton monitoring and stock assessment services to a broad range of national governments, public bodies and local authorities, as well as commercial businesses.

Our team is extensively trained in taxonomy and the use of microscopy to identify the majority of phytoplankton and zooplankton species occurring in European shelf seas. We have a proven track record of surveying for plankton in the marine environment and our experienced sea-going staff deploy a range of sampling equipment to collect plankton and data on environmental variables.

Our specialists have developed a range of image analysis techniques and bespoke software to support our work.

The data we provide are used for a variety of applications, including fish stock and environmental impact assessments. Our scientists analyse plankton survey data and are able to produce detailed reports.

We analyse water samples for phytoplankton species known to occur in UK marine and estuarine waters, to enable the UK’s Food Standards Agency to comply with the EU Shellfish Hygiene regulations thereby protecting public health. We also analyse phytoplankton samples from English coastal and transitional waters to enable the Environment Agency to fulfil the requirements of the EU Water Frameworks Directive. We hold accreditation as a UKAS ISO 17025 testing laboratory, Number 1875 (Scope of Lowestoft Laboratory Testing Services 1875).

In historic archives, we hold plankton survey data going back to the 1950s, predominantly collected in the North Sea, Irish Sea and English Channel.